Denton County is the 25th fastest-growing county in United States with nearly 781,000 residents, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. On November 5, 2002 Denton County approved the creation of the Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA). DCTA is the coordinated county transportation authority for Denton County created in 2002 to advance public transportation alternatives. The agency was funded in 2003 by a dedicated ½ cent sales tax from the cities of Denton, Lewisville and Highland Village and fulfilled its initial service plan in June of 2011 with the launch of commuter rail service. In December 2011, DCTA updated its service plan to include system-wide improvements to build on the initial investments and meet the public transit needs caused by the area’s dynamic growth.
As a regional partner, DCTA is committed to providing safe, customer focused, and efficient mobility solutions for Denton County. For the past 14 years, DCTA has accelerated innovative transportation solutions which have been critical to reducing traffic congestion and enhancing air quality, while contributing to orderly growth and development and improving the quality of life for Denton County residents. DCTA has achieved many major milestones including:
- Launch of A-train 21-mile commuter rail service in June 2011
- Celebrating the grand opening of its new bus operations maintenance facility in February 2014
- Partnering with the City of Frisco to launch new contracted demand-response service in December 2015
- Implementation of recommendations for the first and second phases of the agency’s Comprehensive Operational Analysis (COA) study which provided enhanced services in Lewisville in August 2016, new Highland Village Connect Shuttle and Community On-Demand services in April 2016, and service improvements in Denton in May 2018.
- Signing a new long-term rail operations and maintenance contract with First Transit, Inc. in June 2016 - one of the largest contract agreements in agency history and the first, First Transit contract in the United States
- Implementing a pilot program with Uber to provide “last mile” connection within a specific geo-coded area for Highland Village and portions of Lewisville in October 2016
- Joint service with Trinity Metro (then-Fort Worth Transportation Authority) for a pilot commuter express bus service on the I-35 W corridor between Denton and Fort Worth which began September 2016
- Partnership in June 2018 with the City of McKinney and McKinney Urban Transit District (MUTD) to launch Collin County Transit – subsidized taxi voucher program that provides efficient transit options for participating MUTD cities including McKinney, Lowry Crossing, Melissa, Princeton and Celina
DCTA operates a 21-mile A-train commuter rail system, 10 fixed routes in Denton and Lewisville, Highland Village Connect Shuttle, Access service, campus shuttle service supporting the University of North Texas (UNT) campus and North Central Texas Community College (NCTC), vanpool services and demand response/paratransit services in Frisco and Highland Village. The agency’s 68 peak bus vehicles, four peak rail vehicles, 32 full-time and four part-time direct employees, and 230 third party contract employees serve almost three million passengers annually. DCTA serves three higher-education institutions, connects with the regional transit network and serves key employment, healthcare, retail and government centers. The system also includes a hike & bike trail that parallels the A-train rail line. The A-train rail trail when completed in 2018 will connect all five of the DCTA rail stations and link with trail systems of cities along the A-train corridor.